More Than Half of SF Restaurants Support Vaccine Requirement for Indoor Dining

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A new survey shows more than half of San Francisco restaurants support vaccination requirements for indoor dining, but there are questions about how to make that work.

"I think it's just a natural chain of events, which, the direction that we’re headed, is that we’re going to have to start asking for vaccination cards," said Mat Schuster, owner of Canela Bistro & Wine Bar in the Castro District. "It doesn’t seem that things are getting any better."

Schuster took part in a Golden Gate Restaurant Association survey that found 63% of restaurants are supportive of an indoor vaccination requirement that includes customers and staff.

"It tells me a lot of independent restaurant owners are willing to make some compromises if it lets us keep everybody healthy and keep us in business," Laurie Thomas with the restaurant association said.

The restaurant association did not issue a blanket recommendation, but it strongly asked employers to require workers to be vaccinated.

Sometimes, restaurants have different challenges than bars.

"Restaurants have multiple entrances, restaurants have people like delivery drivers coming in and out, sometimes vendors coming in and out, certainly customers coming in and out, people sitting outside," Thomas said.

Pete Sittnick with Waterbar Restaurant and EPIC Steak said he's looking at the data and doesn't take the issue lightly.

"With regards to requiring guests' proof of vaccination, it’s a very difficult one for a restaurant," he said. "We would be in favor of it if it was a government mandate, either the state or the city."

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